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Health Insurance And A New Jersey Divorce

Divorce can have a huge effect on family members' health insurance coverage. Most families obtain coverage via the employer of one spouse. In the event of a divorce, the spouse who has been providing the coverage can continue to cover the children, but legally can no longer cover the other spouse. Once a divorce takes place, a spouse who has been on the coverage is no longer considered family and therefore, cannot remain on the family insurance policy held by the other spouse.


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Federal law allows that a person who has been covered under a health insurance policy the right to continue to have that policy at his or her own cost, for a set period of time. This COBRA coverage lasts for 36 months after a divorce. So, if you have been on your spouse's health insurance coverage via the employee policy, your spouse's employer has to provide you with individual COBRA coverage for up to  36 months, but you have to pay the cost of the coverage. It usually ranges from $750-$950 a month to have the COBRA plan coverage on a post finalization of divorce basis.

Other Insurance Options

If you are employed but have not been using your employee medical insurance, during the initial stages of divorce, you should speak to your employer regarding when the enrollment period is for you to begin using your employee health insurance.

If you are not employed or do not plan to seek employment after your divorce, you can purchase individual medical insurance directly from an insurance company. However, because there is no employer to pay for part of the coverage, you have to pay the entire cost of the policy yourself.

Can You Stay On Your Spouse's Insurance?

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There is no way you can stay on your spouse's insurance plan once you are divorced. You are no longer a legal member of the family and there is no way for that policy to cover you. The only provision you are given is the 36 months of COBRA, which you have to pay for. You can however, during your divorce settlement negotiations, seek to have the court require that your COBRA costs be covered by your spouse during that period as part of the divorce settlement.

Children And Coverage

For the most part, children will remain on the family policy for whichever spouse has been currently covering them. There are exceptions, such as if the spouse with custody moves away and the insurance coverage is no longer provided, or if the spouse with custody obtains his or her own insurance through the workplace and would rather have the children covered on that policy. However, it is important to know that children cannot be dropped from a health insurance policy during a divorce settlement by one spouse, unless there is alternative coverage available at no additional costs. Children cannot be forced to use COBRA; the parent who was covering the child as part of a family plan must continue that coverage.

Contact Villani & DeLuca, P.C.

In this day and age, health insurance is essential for adults and children. If you are in the midst of a divorce, it is imperative that you work out any health insurance issues. You need to explore all your options regarding health coverage and determine whether or not you will seek COBRA benefits from your spouse's employer. That is where Villani & DeLuca, P.C. comes in. We can offer you assistance with health insurance and divorce in New Jersey.

Our law offices serve the regions of Monmouth and Ocean County and an experienced attorney can guide you toward the best solution to your divorce related issue. Call us at 732-751-4991today to learn about keeping your health insurance after a divorce in New Jersey.

Vincent DeLuca, Esq.

As a founding partner at Villani & DeLuca, Vincent DeLuca is one of only a few Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey. Mr. DeLuca has helped many clients navigate the delicate details of their own divorce. Mr. DeLuca is also a trained divorce mediator and collaborative divorce attorney. Call today at (732) 751-4991 to speak to Mr. DeLuca or one of our experienced NJ Divorce Lawyers.